Oman is not the first place that comes to mind when you picture a verdant valley of greenery and a beach paradise. However, you might want to think twice as Salalah city in the Dhofar province in Oman is just out of this world.
History of Salalah
Salalah city is the capital of the Dhofar province in the south of the Sultanate of Oman. The picturesque city is known for its bustling incense trade and ports. Salalah’s distinct historical and geographic landscape is owing to the city’s position on the coast of the Arabian Sea. This unique position endows it with its drastic climate. Usually, like the vast majority of areas in Oman, Salalah’s climate is a hot desert climate, but this yellow-brown landscape transforms completely into a foggy green valley. This yearly transformation takes place from late July to September, attracting many tourists worldwide.
Why it happens
Salalah is located in an ecoregion named the Arabian Peninsula Coastal Fog Desert. This fog and moisture is driven by winds from the Arabian sea and Indian ocean to cover this ecoregion. Despite what you may think, the area’s green transformation isn’t due to heavy rainfall, it is from the insanely high moisture level. Oman’s Salalah, however, does see some rain in the monsoon or “Khareef” season, but it is not by any means a rainforest.
What to see in Salalah
Although Oman may not be the most popular Middle Eastern tourist destination, Salalah still has a lot to offer when it comes to culture and nature. In the monsoon season, waterfalls adorn the hillsides and green mountain landscapes of the city. Natural attractions like Wadi Darbat and Ain Athum are a must see. Also, there are holy Islamic shrines for Prophets where their final resting place reportedly lies. These shrines are for the Prophets Imran, Ayoob, Houd, and Salih (peace be upon them).
If you only have one day to visit Salalah, you must see Wadi Darbat, a renowned tourist attraction famous for its open valley and lake. Darbat Lake is a brilliant place for a boat ride, a picnic, or a hike among the waterfalls.
Are you planning to visit Oman yet? You might just want to!